Stats and numbers

blackboard-with-numbers-uid-1097311I love recount stats and I hate them. I love stats when I sit down with them after a raid and browse through without taking a personal interest. The numbers tell a story that I enjoy reading. I have recount mostly visible outside of combat in a raid, not to check my place on the healing metre, but to check that I’m healing appropriately. I check who I have been healing and which spells I have been using. I try my utmost not to see where on the metre I am. I confess, I do glance at it when I’m running from point A to B, not because I am particularly competitive, but because I want to be somewhere in the middle and a glance at stats can tell me quite a bit about how I am healing tonight.

Chris frequently says that I am more competitive than I realize. I often wonder if he’s right. I don’t feel competitive. I don’t have any desire to be at the top. I don’t have any gravitational pull towards being the best geared or having the coolest epic weapon or in-game mount or exceptionally rare small pet. I would simply like to fit in and do it well. Maybe I am somewhat competitive. I don’t want to be the best, but I want to be good at whatever I do, including warcraft. That’s why I play. I get angry with myself when I drop a lifebloom roll or start healing a second or two too late or do not move quick enough out of whatever black hole, void zone, rift, fire, blizzard or any other damage dealing effect is damaging me. I enjoy the game most when I do everything right. The moment where I successfully tanked Lady Blaumeux or when my heals are timed just right with Loatheb or the moment when the lava waves in OS become easy to avoid is the moments I play for. My ingame moments aren’t boss kills, it’s not falling off the pre-gluth pipe, avoiding Sapph AoE, making the Thadius jump etc It’s getting the little tricks right that gives me that warm, glowy feeling.

I realise that it’s not always going to go well. Some times I will make stupid mistakes, other times fingers and wrists will dislocate and when the neuro side of things go haywire like it has this week, playing becomes a big challenge. I am happy to sit out when I know that I am not up for it and play through those times as long as I know that I am not a liability and that’s where stats help. I learn about where I go wrong and how I could improve by looking at figures and graphs. Not just my own, mostly actually, at other people’s. I spend quite a lot of time looking at raid statistics in general and a good chunk looking at players who are more skilled than I am. Stats help me play better.

I think the gear is very cool and love upgrades as much as the next person. I think raiding is one of the most fun things I’ve done in my life. I think that recount stats have an important story to tell. I also think that there is a time and place for everything and there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to my overall performance. It’s no longer just about knowing what to do, it’s about doing it. Using recount stats to determine my value as a player is stupid and silly. Tearing the stats apart and letting it tell me the story that it wants to tell, is an experience I enjoy as much as I enjoy playing. I will continue to keep an eye on recount data, not during the raid, but the day after. Not to do so would be like missing out on a very good obook.